Early 2011 Strength of Schedule: Ks

QB | RB | WR | TE | K | DT | RB (PPR) | WR (PPR) | TE (PPR)

Below is a full season SOS table for the kicker position. Here is what each column means:

2011: The total SOS (excluding W17 since a vast majority of leagues do not play in W17) for 2011.

%CH: The percent change from 2010. A positive number means that the team has an easier schedule, while a negative number means that the schedule projects to be tougher.

P3: The team’s average SOS for a W14-16 playoff.

P2: The team’s average SOS for a W15-16 playoff.

If a particular matchup is listed in green, it means that it is at least 3% better than the average for that week. If it’s listed in red, it’s 3% worse than the mean.

I use SOS as a tiebraker between two similarly ranked players or as a way to rank players within a tier. It’s important to note that this is just preliminary SOS. Things will change as the draft and free agency occur, and they’ll change week by week during the season as some defenses get better while others get worse. Typically, a defense won’t go from terrible to great (vice versa) in one year, so if you’re expecting a great matchup from your K in W16, there’s a very good chance that it will be at worst mediocre at that point in the season.

(Click on the table to see a bigger version. You can download the data in CSV format if you click the link below.)

– Only four of the Top 12 kickers in 2009 managed to finish in the Top 12 in 2010: David Akers, Sebastian Janikowski, Dan Carpenter and Mason Crosby. Of those four players, only Akers projects to have a significantly easier schedule in 2011, so he’s probably the safest fantasy kicker in the league. ADP, he’s going K2 (after Janikowski).

– Other players that finished in the Top 12 with significantly easier schedules are Billy Cundiff, Jay Feely and Josh Brown.

– The kicker position is generally an afterthought for me on draft day. It doesn’t make sense to burn an early (13th round or earlier) pick on a kicker, though Akers is probably worth a 14th-round pick given his consistency over the years. I typically look for teams that can move the ball but have trouble in the redzone, and if they play indoors (or warm weather) it’s a bonus. Josh Brown was very good down the stretch last season, and Josh McDaniels’ offense should improve the Rams’ scoring chances. Dave Buehler, Jay Feely, Neil Rackers, Dan Carpenter, Adam Vinatieri, Nate Kaeding and Matt Bryant also fit the indoor/warm weather profile.

Click here to download a CSV file of this data.

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